Vice President Mike Pence has been courting scores of the country’s most influential donors, corporate executives and conservative political leaders over the past several months in a series of private gatherings and one-on-one conversations.
The centerpiece of the effort is a string of dinners held every few weeks at the vice president’s official residence on the grounds of the Naval Observatory in Washington. Mr. Pence and his wife, Karen, have presided over at least four such soirées, and more are in the works. Each has drawn roughly 30 to 40 guests, including a mix of wealthy donors such as the Chicago hedge fund manager Kenneth C. Griffin and the brokerage firm founder Charles Schwab, as well as Republican fund-raisers and executives from companies like Dow Chemical and the military contractor United Technologies.
The guests and their families collectively donated or helped raise millions of dollars to support the Trump-Pence ticket in 2016, and some are viewed in Republican finance circles as likely supporters for two new groups created to promote President Trump, Mr. Pence, their legislative agenda and congressional allies. The dinner guest lists were curated in part by two of Mr. Pence’s closest advisers, who have also played important roles in starting the new political groups, America First Policies and America First Action. Mr. Pence has appeared at recent events outside his official residence with prospective donors to the groups.
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